Archives » April 3rd, 2005

April 3, 2005

Modillion Madness

With the coming of spring we also have another update to the Ormsby House Gallery.

The March update has been posted today. The main course this month is modillions, so if you’re curious what that means, stop on by. There are two pages, and sixteen pictures. OneTwo

Opinion Fatigue

Looks like I’m not the only one that’s tired of all the squabbling that happens online. Just a couple of days after I wrote my little piece, James Lileks posted this:

Speaking of which: if nothing else, this entire affair has made me heartily sick of the very act of reading the Internet. Pardon my language, but I am simply goddamn sick of opinions, period. Right or wrong, well-reasoned or poorly expressed, snarky or solemn, I am tired of the lot of them, my own included.

Maybe we’ll see a movement starting now, where everybody gets sick of these politically-charged “opinion” postings, and just stops writing them. Not that it would affect me much, though, since I stopped reading most of the sites where you can find those kinds of posts long ago. James also goes on to say this:

That sort of thing is expected on the internet, but what makes me weary is the blogligation to have an opinion about it and bang it out so the whole world knows I stand four-square against bashing near-dead Popes.

The [obligation] to have an opinion about it and bang it out. That’s probably the key phrase right there. That’s the impluse that everybody has; they read something they don’t agree with, and they just want to start shouting, “You’re wrong, and here’s why.” So many of the problems in the world are caused by that impulse. Entire websites are founded on it; people spend hours out of their days following through with it. Some folks seem to take great delight in telling other people how and why they’re wrong; others do it almost grudgingly, like it’s such a burden but they’re doing it for the good of mankind. And I get a little of that feeling when I read between the lines of James’ post. Like he’s saying, “How can I lecture you, when you don’t sit still and listen?” His solution to the weariness? Take two weeks off. My solution is just to supress the impluse, and not feel like it’s my “obligation” to put my opinions out there. In fact, I’m starting to feel like it’s my obligation not to put my opinions out there, because doing so will reduce the value of my blog and give my readers the same weariness that I feel.

So I don’t think taking two weeks off, recharging your batteries, and then going back to doing the same old thing is going to do much good in the long run. You’re just going to get burned again if you do it that way. And the thing is, James Lileks is probably in a better position than most to just step away from the politics and focus on other things. His site is already full of the kind of nonsense I love to see on the web. He talks about the joys of raising his daughter. He posts screencaps from old black and white movies. He puts up matchbooks, old postcards, old comics, stag magazines from the 50s, and piles of other crap, and manages to make it all interesting. He does this five days a week, with a few political rants that encompass about 10% of the total volume of his writing. I don’t mind the political stuff; his opinions are different than mine, but they’re not the reason I’m at his site. They’re like the commercials you have to fast forward through to get to the good stuff. But because he’s tired of the political stuff, he takes a break from the whole thing. Seems a little bit like throwing out the soup because there’s a fly in it.

Anyway, I’m not really going anywhere with this. People have the right to post whatever they want on their site. I just think that the internet would be a more enjoyable place if some folks took a deep breath and counted to 10 before posting. Or 10,000.